WHAT HAP­PENED NEXT THE 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Just Williams -

Fe­bru­ary 2022

To prove he is se­ri­ous about co-host­ing the 2026 World Cup, Don­ald Trump puts Sepp Blat­ter in charge of prepa­ra­tions – his first role since Fifa ban­ish­ment. Blat­ter hasn’t lost his touch: de­spite only four new sta­di­ums be­ing re­quired, 38 are built. Each is a Trump Ho­tel with cones laid out in the car park for the foot­ball pitch. Blat­ter flees af­ter pock­et­ing 10 Stormy Danielses ($1.3 mil­lion in old money). A pub­lic out­cry fol­lows when it’s an­nounced that, in line with US im­mi­gra­tion laws, no teams with fix­tures in Mex­ico will be per­mit­ted back into the USA for the knock­out stage.

June 2026

Trump is some­how still in of­fice by the time the World Cup be­gins, but the open­ing cer­e­mony is calami­tous. It be­gins with Diana Ross get­ting an­other shot at the penalty she fa­mously missed at the 1994 open­ing cer­e­mony. The ball smashes a watch­ing Me­la­nia in the face – do­ing more dam­age to the ball than the face. A fan at­tempt­ing to pro­pose to his girl­friend is then snipered for look­ing as though he’s about to kneel for the na­tional an­them. And just be­fore kick-off, it be­comes clear the US has spent eight years pre­par­ing for the wrong kind of foot­ball. ‘Ohhh, you say foot­ball, we say soc­cer. Eh, let’s call the whole thing off!’ says Trump.

July 2026

The tour­na­ment is largely dull, un­til Justin Trudeau picks him­self as cap­tain of Canada, pro­vok­ing other world lead­ers to fol­low suit. They have their quirks on the pitch: Trudeau plays shirt­less, Kim Jong-un has a small square of body­guards jog­ging around him at all times, Sa­jid Javid at­tempts to play both right wing and cen­tre at once (fail­ing at both), and Trump doesn’t know the rules so sends Ivanka in­stead. He en­joys watch­ing so much though that he takes a pol­icy from it. ‘I de­cree the Mex­ico bor­der wall will be made from scared-look­ing men clutch­ing their tes­ti­cles.’ — Guy Kelly

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